Big data pumps up business intelligence spend

Despite the downturn, it looks as if demand for business-intelligence software will remain strong thanks to big data and untapped departmental demand.

Spending on business intelligence will continue to rise this year, fuelled by big-data projects and individuals and departments wanting to do their own analytics.

"Every company has numerous subject areas — such as HR, marketing, social and so on — that have yet to even start with BI and analytics" Gartner's Kurt Schlegel

In 2013, spending on business-intelligence software will hit $13.8bn, a seven-percent rise on 2012, according to analyst firm Gartner . Projected spending will reach $17.1bn by 2016.

But the growth in spending is slowing. It stood at 16 percent in 2011 and is expected to remain in single figures over the next few years.

Gartner blames the troubled economic climate for dampening demand, along with organisations taking longer to sign up to large business-intelligence projects.

Unmet demand for business intelligence

Nevertheless, there is still plenty of unmet demand, according to Gartner research vice president Kurt Schlegel. "Every company has numerous subject areas — such as HR, marketing, social and so on — that have yet to even start with BI [business intelligence] and analytics," he said in a statement.

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Schlegel said finance and sales in large organisations are well advanced in terms of descriptive analytics. "But there is still a lot of growth expected for diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive deployments," he said.

Schlegel also argued that demand for business-intelligence applications will remain strong because many mid-sized organisations have not yet even started to use the software.

As well as spending by CIOs on analytics for big data, business functions are generating demand because they want to be able to analyse their own departmental and workgroup figures.

The development of the cloud, mobile and social media is also creating demand among individuals for analytics software .

Emergence of data as a service

Gartner believes the emergence of data as a service could increase the business-intelligence market significantly. At the moment, organisations mainly license software to build their analytics applications.

"However, organisations increasingly will subscribe to industry-specific data services that bundle a narrow set of data with BI and analytic capabilities embedded," the analyst wrote.

According to Gartner, business intelligence is the fourth largest area of application software in terms of spending. ERP is the largest, projected to command $32.9bn of spending by 2016. Next come office suites with an equivalent figure of $21.2bn, followed by customer-relationship management on $18.6bn.

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